Lisa Herring
Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Board of Education Announces Dr. Lisa Herring as Finalist for Superintendent

At Tuesday’s board meeting the Atlanta Board of Education announced the sole finalist for Superintendent job, Dr. Lisa Herring- current Superintendent for Birmingham City Schools in Alabama.

To the surprise of many, in October the Board launched a nationwide search for a replacement of the sometimes controversial Meria Carstarphen. Dr. Herring will bring more than 25 years of progress and achievement in urban public-school systems across the Southeast with a proven track record of success in school turnaround and academic achievement.

“Over the last six months, the APS community played a significant role in crafting the leadership profile the Board used to identify potential candidates,” said Board Chairman Jason Esteves. “We believe with
her passion for serving students paired with her focus on equity and achievement for all, Dr. Herring is the best leader to take APS to a new level and close the achievement gap for so many of our students.”

Here’s more from the press release from the board office.


For the past three years, Dr. Herring served as Superintendent for Birmingham, AL City Schools, stewarding the system to full district accreditation after being put on probation prior to Herring’s arrival.
Under her leadership, the system made significant strides moving its state-issued report card grade from an underperforming F to a passing grade of C. By focusing on “children first” and researched-based interventions, the district also decreased the number of F-rated schools from 22 to six and 67% of all schools improved on their individual state report card with 13 schools moving up a letter grade or more.


Dr. Herring built strong civic and corporate partnerships to provide innovative and equitable opportunities for all students across the diverse Birmingham community. In collaboration with Birmingham Mayor
Randall Woodfin and United Way of Central Alabama CEO Drew Langloh, she helped develop and launch The Birmingham Promise to offer last-dollar scholarships and new career and college opportunities for any graduate of Birmingham City Schools. In partnership with Apple, Alabama Power,
Tech Birmingham and city leadership she helped with the design and implementation of ED FARM, a first of its kind program to build technology skills in students, teachers, and community members.

She holds a Doctorate in Education Administration from Georgia Southern University and an Educational Leadership Certificate from the University of Georgia. With an Educational Specialist and Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of South Carolina, Dr. Herring is uniquely qualified to lead the district during the COVID-19 pandemic which has been a traumatic experience for so many students and their families.

In compliance with Georgia law, the Board must wait for a minimum of 14 days between announcing a final candidate for the position of Superintendent and making the appointment official. Given the current social distancing restrictions in place, the Board may extend that period to ensure Atlanta Public Schoolstakeholders have a chance to learn more about Dr. Herring.

Here’s more from Dr. Herring’s background.

She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Master and Specialist degrees from the University of South Carolina, Leadership Certification from the University of Georgia and her Doctorate from Georgia Southern University. Dr. Herring completed Harvard University’s Public Education and Leadership Program and Georgia’s Leadership Institute for School Improvement. She is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Georgia and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Dr. Herring is humbled to have been recognized for her commitment to the children and communities she has served including:
 Birmingham’s Class of Executives of the Decade, Birmingham Business Journal, 2020
 Birmingham’s Most Influential Executive Award, Birmingham Business Journal, 2019, 2018
 “What’s Right in Education” Difference Maker Award, HURON/Studer Education, 2019
 Exemplary Model Community Service & Leadership Award, Tri-County (AL) Chapter of the Links
2019
 Innovation for Equity in Education, National Charter Member, 2018
 “Salute to HER” Recipient, Belhaven University, Atlanta, 2018
 Education Award, Birmingham City Council, District Eight, 2017
 South Carolina Administrator of the Year, South Carolina School Counseling Association, 2013
 National ASCA Model Program Coordinator, Bibb County School District, 2009
 National ASCA Model Program Coordinator, DeKalb County School System, 2006


Most important, she is the proud mother of one child, her daughter, Imani, also a graduate of Spelman College. Dr. Herring embraces a passionate belief that education is the greatest equalizer of mankind. She also
believes in the inner strength, power, and talent of all children, saying success does not rest solely on where you begin in life, but is achieved by how each of us maximizes our talents and pursues our purpose. She believes this is extremely critical in serving, supporting and educating our children and future leaders.

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We used to teach now we write full-time about all things education in Atlanta.
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